Clinic: (n) a hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment
Old Marion Webster always tends to leave out a detail or two in presenting definitions.
Clinics are not only places where people go to get medical assistance, but often find themselves frequenting due to poverty.
I’ve been to a clinic. It wasn’t because I doing research for one of my essays. No–I was busted.
Broke. Without bucks. Dollarless.
I found the experience to be humiliating–not because I thought I was better than all the other clientele. It was humiliating by design.
All the furniture was old, scarred, some pieces broken. The magazines were dated at least four years earlier, and had articles which had already proven to be incorrect. The candy machine was empty except for peanuts and Cheese-it crackers. The Coke machine was out of order and the coffee maker had a crack in it, so they could only make one cup at a time.
The nurses were volunteers who attempted to be cheery, but still conveyed a sense of yearning to get over their stint quickly and return to their normal lives.
The people around me were sick–some very sick. It made them look and act dreary.
I sat there and thought to myself, how easy it would be for people of substance and finance to just donate new magazines.
How about that church down the road which recently bought new furniture for their parlor–giving that old plush couch and chairs to this clinic so people would feel just a bit more comfortable as they sat for hours, waiting for a three-minute visit?
Would it kill the vendors to make sure that the candy machine was adequately stocked, and price it just a bit more reasonably for those who have to search longer for quarters?
How about giving them a new coffee pot, or taking up a donation to make the Cokes reappear?
I wasn’t angry over the indifference–just perplexed by the ignorance.
Now that prosperity has crept my way, I have a little extra money every once in a while that might seem like a gold mine for a clinic.
Maybe just buying flowers for the attendants to wear every day. Or if you worry that the patients might be allergic, purchase more colorful scrubs.
For some reason or another, rich people do not feel it’s enough to insult the less fortunate with mere poverty. They want to make sure the experience leaves a bitter taste in their mouths.